The Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development (LACSOP) has called for the inauguration of the Governing Council as provided by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act to enhance the implementation of the vulnerable Group fund to improve healthcare access to the poorest of the poor.
LACSOP made this known through the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye while featuring on a panel session at the maiden Lagos State Health Insurance Summit organized by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) with the theme “Accelerating Social Health Insurance Coverage in Lagos State (through Domesticating the NHIA Act)”.
Barr Adebusoye explained that according to section 25 through to 30 of the NHIA Act, the Governing Council need to be inaugurated to ensure the implementation of the Vulnerable Group fund, so that it can cater for the needs of Persons with Disabilities and indigents
Adebusoye said, “the vulnerable group fund can only come into play only when the Governing Council has been inaugurated. We are calling on the President, since he says he want to scale up the coverage of health insurance from 5% to 40%, to prioritize this.
“For the NHIA Act to be operationalized in Lagos, the fund must be viable, and that is only when the Governing Council has been inaugurated,” he added.
He also charged the Lagos State Government to consider health expenditure as an investment and not an expenditure, adding that “research shows that over 125 billion Naira is being collected by road transport workers union (agberos) annually from commercial buses, tricycles and motorcycles annually.
”If Lagos State Government, with the use of technology and political will, can collect 10% of the levy and channel it into the health sector, there will be a lot of improvement.”
He added that some of the transport worker levy can also be used to onboard the transport workers into the health insurance schemes, and also create a sense of fulfilment for them.